Oct 22 2019 Noor Naseer Blog Automation Centro Stories: Laura Perritte Humanizes Automation Our people are a large part of what makes Centro such a great place to work. We’re excited to introduce you to some of Centro’s most interesting people in our newest blog series, as they share their ‘Centro stories’ and a variety of experiences that have impacted their work and life. As National VP of Client and Media Services at Centro, Laura Perritte helps clients achieve their business goals while providing the raving fan service that Centro is known for. Laura has mastered the skill of delivering superior client consultation while also arming clients to embrace ad tech software to manage their own campaign needs. Read on to learn how Laura brings a human touch to an industry marked by automation. Noor Naseer: Even the most automated software doesn’t run by itself. What is the role of a skillful media buyer in today’s market? Laura Peritte: Technology is amazing and it’s improving every day, but humans are irreplaceable in the process of designing channel, targeting, and messaging strategy. Even the best technology requires a thoughtful media mind to make the most of it. Machines can’t pull actionable insights and performance stories out of data sets. They also can’t foster the human connections that create strong partnerships with our clients. NN: What does a strategic hire look like in the media services landscape? LP: Many of the traditional media personality traits—attention to detail, curiosity, confidence, resilience—are still applicable to achieving success in the current landscape. When we’re looking to strategically build our team, however, it’s more about the unique perspectives and experiences that individuals can bring to the table. Diversity and creativity are fundamental to growing our capabilities as a team. NN: How do you advise your client services team to always be prepared for any client ask? LP: I encourage my team to read the trades, attend conferences, take meetings, ask questions—and leverage each other. We have a huge team of incredibly talented media people, and the more that they connect and share with one another, the better off all our customers will be. I also tell everyone that it’s okay not to have the answer—you just need to be resourceful enough to find it! NN: There’s a spectrum of options when it comes to managing programmatic media campaigns. Some brands and advertisers outsource their campaigns with managed services, while others utilize a digital buying platform in-house. How should a marketer assess the tier of service they need? LP: We published a Programmatic Readiness Guide to help marketers navigate this very decision! Here’s the process we suggest: Step one is to identify your motivation, business metrics, and desired outcomes. Step two requires a deep evaluation of your team’s skillset, expertise and capacity. Step three is to think through organizational processes, training needs, and the company’s tolerance for change. Step four is an evaluation of your data infrastructure, technology, and tools. Step five is to make sure you have the right partnerships in place. What’s most important is knowing that things change quickly and frequently, so the best service model is one that’s agile and evolves with your needs. NN: Knowing that software will become more automated as time goes on, why do brands and advertisers continue to utilize client services teams to manage their campaigns? LP: I think there’s a need for a trusted ally that can guide clients through this dynamic landscape. Agencies and brands need someone to trust—and trust is built through human relationships and experiences. Technology can help facilitate all those things, but it can’t replace the human element required to achieve them.